On August 10, 2022, MSDJNF hosted Diane Boyd Rauber, Executive Director of the National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates (NOVA). Best described as a specialty bar association for attorneys advocating for disabled veterans and their families, NOVA provides educational support to attorneys and others practicing before the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Director Rauber spoke to MSJDN members only a few hours after the historic PACT Act was signed into law by President Biden. Under the new legislation, conditions long-associated with military service are now presumptively caused by military service and, finally, subject to treatment by the VA. Director Rauber explained that this may give veterans grounds to appeal past denials for treatment. She explained how the PACT Act will help streamline the proof needed by so many veterans for treatment of their service-related conditions. She explained how there will be a phasing in of certain coverages and health care, but that conditions affecting veterans all the way back to the Vietnam era will now be available for treatment and coverage. Director Rauber was still digesting the 150-page document which had just been released, but she and her staff were quickly preparing for the new filings and appeals which veterans advocates will be executing in the near future.

The presentation by NOVA Executive Director Diane Rauber was a feature of the VetLAG and MSJDNF Military Spouses Representing Veterans Fellowship Presentation Series, and was facilitated by MSJDN member Tricia Petek.